Aug 11, 2016

    Mad over China nuclear waste plant


    A CHINESE city has suspended preliminary work on a proposed 100 billion yuan (S$20 billion) nuclear waste processing plant following protests by local residents.

    Reports that Lianyungang, a coastal city about 500km north of Shanghai, was set to be chosen as the site for the project due to start construction in 2020 sparked protests over the weekend.

    The project, to be run by state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation in collaboration with France's Areva, is scheduled to be completed by 2030.

    "The Lianyungang Municipal People's Government has decided to suspend site selection and preliminary work," a notice on its website said.

    Lianyungang is the location of the Tianwan nuclear project which currently has two Russian-designed reactors.

    Two more units are now under construction and there are plans to expand further.

    China has ambitions to become a world leader in nuclear power. It has 30 reactors in commercial operation by the end of June this year, amounting to 28 gigawatts of capacity. It is aiming to raise that to 58 GW by end-2020.

    However, it is struggling to resolve bottlenecks in the industry, including fuel processing, waste recycling, grid access and a shortage of qualified staff.